Korean Baked Chicken Wings

Yields 2 servings

I have always loved Korean fried chicken wings but one night I didn’t feel like frying so I made these that I ended up liking better. The trick is to line a baking pan or sheet pan with foil and place a well-oiled rack on top; otherwise it’s a nightmare to clean. I just spray the rack with cooking spray oil. Remember to spray both sides of the rack.

The optional dipping sauce provides a spicy-sweet accompaniment.

Note: there are many types of Gochujang (Korean hot pepper paste) available. You can get it through the Internet if you don’t live near an Asian grocery store. I prefer the ones without MSG.

1 ½-2 pounds chicken wings
¼ cup espresso, freshly brewed or instant
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ cup Gochujang-Korean hot red pepper paste, I use Haechandle brand
1 tablespoon canola or peanut oil

Combine the ingredients and mix well. Dry the chicken wings and place in a large bowl so you have room to toss. Pour the marinade over and toss until the wings are well coated. Marinate for at least 2 hours or overnight, refrigerated.

Preheat the oven to 375° F.

Cover the bottom of a half sheet pan or a large baking pan with foil. Place the wings on an oiled baking rack centered over a baking or sheet pan but do not let them touch.

Bake at 375° turning occasionally until crisp and brown basting with the marinade as they cook. A thin even brushing is best because using too much marinade and they won’t crisp. If the wings seem to be browning before they are cooked through lower the oven to 350°. Bake for 15 -25 minutes until you see the skin at the ends pulling away from the bone and if pricked the juices run clear (prick in the meatiest part). These are sticky so do not drain on paper towels and serve with wet wipes!

Vampire Sauce/Dip-Optional
So, named as it has enough garlic to keep the vampires at bay. Feel free to reduce the garlic if you don’t have vampires in your hood.

2 tablespoons Hoisin sauce or Korean soybean paste
2 teaspoons minced garlic (2 medium sized cloves)
4 teaspoons red pepper sauce (Gochujang- Korean hot red pepper paste)
1 teaspoon, light oil–canola oil or peanut oil
2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons mirin, Japanese sweet sake

Combine all ingredients and bring to a boil, then cool. Serve warm or chilled.

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